It started innocently enough, just a simple game of playing catch, but inevitably the baseball would pick up more and more velocity. Pretty soon my buddies and I would be hurling the ball like Catfish Hunter. The baseball smacking the leather gloves sounded like gunshots playing the game called “Burnout”.
The game of burnout is like most activities; they take some skill, a fair amount of guts, but the sense of gratification from doing it is worth the risk.
Another kind of burnout we grew up with was one created by power, horsepower that is, and it was usually accompanied by the roar of a V-8 from Detroit back in the muscle car era.Drop the right foot, snatch the left one off the clutch, and presto; burnout, tires spinning, smoking, squealing, and little kid’s jaws hanging in awe. We were waiting for the years to roll like those tires so we could have our turn to a burnout… or two.
If a person lives long enough we all discover another type of burnout. The kind that longs for a break from whatever it is that has occupied us, possessed us and worn us down like back tires from too many burnouts.
All of us have participated in the game of burnout. Maybe not the stinging fastball that inevitably sneaks past the mitt. Or the kind where the rubber and pavement chew on each other, growling, screaming, and smoking.
Wisdom and intellect from God have a way of not just preparing us for burnout, but the keys to get it behind us.
I just finished a manuscript that I started over four years ago… the last forty thousand of the ninety-four plus words in the last two weeks… not to mention the twenty plus re-writes that are looming in the future.
None of us know when the ghost of writer’s block will pay us a visit. And because he’s hung his invisible hat around here so often in the past, I prepare for his always inopportune visits.
I write ahead. That’s why losing my briefcase with a different manuscript and three months worth of posts inside, a few months back, left me with instant mental burnout.
Of this I’m certain; none of us sit in the sweet spot between slothdom and over-achiever status in this fallen world. We’re either not doing enough or we’re doing too much… and beating ourselves up on both sides of the scales.
If it were up to me? I want… but give me what I want and I’ll toss it aside like a little kid ripping open packages at Christmas. And rest alone, without the soothing spirit of God can’t fix burnout. It’s that easy burden, that light yoke that our Savior told us about.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul.
Bye, bye, burnout. (sung to the tune “Bye Bye Blackbird”)